PhD Fellowship in Chemical Engineering: Nanoparticles (NPs) for Water Management

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Gløshaugen, Norway
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

About the position

The Department of Chemical Engineering has a vacancy for a PhD Candidate within the field of nanoparticles for water management. The earliest start date for the position will be November 2020. 

The appointment has a duration of 3 years with the possibility of a further 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. 

The PhD Candidate will be affiliated with the Department of Chemical Engineering, NTNU Trondheim but the research work will be carried out in collaboration with Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering, NTNU Ålesund and Department of Water Management, TU Delft, the Netherlands. 

Project Description 

Slow Sand Filtration (SSF) is frequently applied as the final treatment step to remove pathogenic microorganisms for drinking water production. The performance of the SSF is affected by physical, chemical and biological processes such as temperature, age and thickness of the biologically active layer (Schmutzdecke), filter grain size, filtration rate and influent water quality. Research on SSF is often hindered by the fact that working with pathogenic organisms and organic micro pollutants can be scientifically challenging, expensive and time-consuming.  

This project aims at designing artificial nanoparticles as an index for bacteriophage MS2 (model virus), E. coli WR1 (model bacteria) and organic micro pollutants. The project will design a set of artificial nanoparticles with different functional groups on their surfaces and compare their behaviors with MS2 and E. coli WR1 in laboratory column experiments and in a pilot plant filtration unit. The observed breakthrough curves (BTCs) will be modelled to quantify inactivation, attachment, detachment and straining of MS2, WR1 and the nanoparticles. This project fits into a long-term collaboration between NTNU and TU Delft (The Netherlands). 

Main Supervisor: Sulalit Bandyopadhyay (Department of Chemical Engineering, NTNU, Trondheim) 

Co-Supervisors: Razak Seidu (Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering, NTNU Ålesund) and Thom Bogaard (Department of Water Management, TU Delft, the Netherlands) 

Main Duties and Responsibilities 

The research work will involve: 

  • Synthesis of nanoparticles and subsequent functionalization
  • Characterization using state-of-the art infrastructure at NTNU NanoLab and department laboratories
  • Laboratory column experiments
  • Application of nanoparticles in pilot plant filtration unit
  • Modelling of break through curves
  • Statistical analysis of datasets

The candidate is expected to participate actively in the group activities, including mentoring and co-supervision of students. More information about the group can be found here:

The candidate is expected to be flexible in regards to short -term or long-term international research stays. 

The candidate will closely collaborate with the Department of Water Management TU Delft, the Netherlands and will spend some research time in Delft, The Netherlands.

Travelling with respect to conferences, meetings, workshops may be expected as part of the position. 


Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in Chemical Engineering or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria, you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

Qualification criteria

The candidate shall be evaluated based on the following criteria: 

  • Strong experimental background in synthesis and functionalization of nanomaterials via bottom-up approaches.
  • Experience in characterization techniques such as electron microscopy, spectroscopy, light scattering, etc. 
  • Solid background in statistical or mathematical modelling.
  • Proven affinity for designing and performing application based experiments.
  • Prior knowledge and/or experience in column experiments and modelling will be an advantage.
  • Good written and oral English language skills.

Personal Characteristics

  • Positive, creative, result - oriented and enthusiastic
  • Seeks new challenges at work
  • Has keen interest working in interdisciplinary teams 
  • Communicates information and results with clarity and ease, both orally and in writing

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years with the possibility of up to 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD program Chemical Engineering (  within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include:

  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • Motivation letter for the PhD position (one A4 page)
  • Name and adress of three references

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact  Dr. Sulalit Bandyopadhyay, telephone +47 450 71 041, email . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Nina Sandberg, telephone +47 924 64 640, e-mail:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 87/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.09.2020